‘Offbeat humour for adults and mild scares for kids’ – Haunted Mansion | Films | Entertainment


It won’t put the frighteners on Barbie but Disney’s spooky family comedy should keep tills ringing over the school holidays.

The second film based on the Disneyland ride is a big improvement on the 2003 Eddie Murphy version, offering offbeat humour for adults and mild scares for kids.

The most shocking aspects are the timing (Halloween is months away), the running time (two hours for a kids’ film!), and the calibre of the cast which boasts Oscar winners Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto in supporting roles.

The always-watchable LaKeith Stanfield stars as Ben Matthias, a widowed scientist who has built a camera to photograph spirits.

After catching as many apparitions on camera as 25 series of reality TV show Most Haunted – precisely none – a half-cut Ben is reduced to making sarky comments to tourists while conducting ghost tours of New Orleans.

He briefly sparks back into life when Owen Wilson’s priest offers him big bucks to take his camera to the gothic mansion of Rosario Dawson’s single mum.

Teaming up with the priest, Danny DeVito’s nutty professor, Tiffany Haddish’s medium and a disembodied ghostly head (Lee Curtis), Ben tries to get to the bottom of a mystery involving a malicious spirit called The Hatbox Ghost (Leto).

The Hatbox Ghost just might end up following nervous youngsters home from the cinema. Parents could always see if their kids are feeling braver when this chiller lands on Disney+, probably somewhere around the end of October.

Haunted Mansion, Cert 12A, In cinemas now


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